We are interested in evolutionary changes in the nervous system and behavior. How do these changes occur? What happens to behavior as the brain evolves? As a model system, our research focuses on the olfactory system and olfactory-guided behavior in vertebrates, as well as the origin and evolution of pheromones. Most of our studies involve amphibians, particularly axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa), but we have also worked with other salamanders as well as frogs, lampreys, and goldfish. We use a combination of techniques and approaches, including behavioral observation, electrophysiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics, and neuroanatomy.
Students in the lab are encouraged to pursue their own research interests within the general area of biology that includes the study of the evolution of the nervous system and behavior.
lab motto: “this works great when it works.”